Japanese Holly Bonsai Tree Leaves

Ilex Bonsai Trees

The Ilex is a genus of several hundred species in tree encompassing our own Holly. Ilex Crenata is frequently found as bonsai. It is evergreen with small leaves and white flowers giving rise to small black berries.

The species produces tiny white flowers and small berries


With care this species can be kept indoors. Mist spraying and a cool room are recommended. This is more difficult than keeping the tree as described below.

If cool environments such as shaded porches, conservatories and sun rooms can be provided, they likelihood of success is increased. These may be too hot in summer, when the tree should be moved outside.

The tree performs very well outside but does need protection in winter.


Mist spraying will help if you wish to keep indoors. Aim to keep the soil consistently moist.


Species grows quickly. Prune shoots back to a couple of leaves when growth has extended a few centimetres. More flowers will be seen if you prune later.


Aim to repot every couple of years. Use a standard soil mix. Please see our guide to bonsai soils.


Feed every couple of weeks using a low strength feed during the growing season.